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Fallen Trooper Donald E Smith

Donald E Smith

Donald E. Smith
1946 – 1983

Two Oregon law enforcement officers lost their lives in the Line-of-Duty on Monday, July 11, 1983 just east of Gold Beach, Oregon. Trooper Donald E. Smith, age 37, an investigator for the Oregon State Police and Sergeant Joseph Omlin III, age 36, of the Curry County Sheriff's office, both licensed pilots, were on a surveillance flight in a Piper Tomahawk plane looking for marijuana growing operations in the extremely rugged terrain of the Green Wall area of the Illinois River. They departed the airport at about 10am and when they had not returned by early afternoon a search was started. Smokejumpers from Redmond were called in for assistance on Tuesday morning and the plane wreckage was located about noon. The wreck site was in such a rugged area with no roads it took rescuers three days and two nights to recover the remains. One Oregon State Police officer who was involved in the recovery effort was also injured when he fell from a 30 foot cliff and broke an ankle and injured a knee. A paramedic was knocked unconscious when he was hit by a large boulder that became dislodged and rolled down a steep hill on him. Trooper Smith joined the Oregon State Police on November 15, 1972 and had been assigned to the Gold Beach office for all 12 years of his service.

Trooper Smith was born in Parsons, Kansas on March 4, 1946 to Earl J. and Irene M. Smith. He had one sister. Thirty-seven year old Trooper Smith was married and had two children. Over 475 law enforcement officers from all over the state and from as far as Washington D.C along with family members and friends attended the funeral in Gold Beach.

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